Just a question. A simple question. A question I’m still struggling to answer.
"How did you meet?"
In the (near) 7 months since I’ve met the boy, he’s been around for long enough to have earned a pseudonym so we’ll call him Zach from here on out, this question has been asked numerous times. Why is it that in all of my past relationships I cannot recall having to answer this question? Ever.
There is a brief, simple answer. One that isn’t technically a lie as it does answer where/how we actually physically met, but eventually I’ll have to cop to the official story. If Zach and I were a passing thing, nothing to be serious about, a farce, I could pass with the generic “at a party” or “at a bar” response that has become expected of my age group. However, instead I feel guilty for the altered-fib andembarrassed, ashamed, apprehensive(?) about the absolute truth.
Does every other online-dating-success-story-couple have this same weight hanging over them?
I’m assuming it isn’t entirely easy for any of us to admit to meeting on the interwebs, but I can’t help but feel that I am struggling more than others.
Perhaps because neither Zach nor myself were incredibly serious about the entire endeavor. He, allegedly, only joined because of reputation on another website he frequents and the disdain for “meeting at a bar,” and, well, you all know my story.
So shame isn’t exactly the right word. I can’t, in good faith, be ashamed of anything that led to Zach and my introduction no matter how out-of-character and absurd. Also, I in no way am judgmental of other couples who have met on OkCupid, E-Harmony, or other online dating sites. I know a LOT of people who have had success in that area.
The issue is, and I’m sure will remain, that I am probably the last person anyone I know would expect to create an account. As I documented throughout the project: I feel fairly confident talking to anyone, I like going out and meeting people, and I sincerely had no intention of dating or even fooling around with anyone this year…I had better things to do. Thus, the times I have told the full story (and I have told it, more times than I can count on my two hands) the story has become this unnecessarily long saga due to the preamble setting up how the hell I wound up leading on the entire internet.
I wish I was confident enough to say “we met online” or even “we kinda met online, and then at…”
Maybe someday I will be.
What bothers me the most is that my mother doesn’t know, and I know his does, as does his father, and his friends, etc.
Why does this question plague me? And why can’t I cure it with a straight-forward answer?
I prefer our story to the standard drunken pick up at a bar.
Thanks for listening,
So here is the issue.
I am sitting at my beautiful PC as we speak, my browser pulled up, and OkCupid on a tab. I am not a member. However, Holly had informed me about a week ago or so about her new experiment and I was intrigued. I don’t understand dating sites, to be perfectly frank. As I repeatedly heard about this site, usually through Holly discussing a friend or mentioning something about the site in passing, I always responded with “I don’t get it.” So at long last Holly came over to my current abode, brought up her profile, and showed me how this whole thing works.
So why do I have the base page up in my tabs?
The scientist in me has had my “how does it work?” question answered, I should be fine to move on with life. What is more I have repeatedly said, in my blogs as well, that I have no desire at present for a boyfriend. I’m more of a “eh if I stumble into one we’ll see how it works” kind of a girl most of the time. The whole “Single in Chicago” thing does not really get to me. I maintain that it is entertaining to be a single female in this city much of the time, but I don’t really mind it. I’m the last person you’ll see clutching a pint of ice cream and a bottle of champagne on a Saturday night sitting curled up on my futon watching something and wishing on every passing plane that I had a boyfriend. I was dating someone for a while last year, I had really liked this guy for ages, total little girl crush, thought it was a pipe dream, and in the end I actually wound up breaking up with him.
I find nothing wrong with dating sites. In fact, I think when it comes down to it I’m just too proud to ever use one. I always swore off twitter, I found it self indulgent, and yet I have one (solely to stalk celebrities during my trips out to NY and/or LA, but I did crumble and make one and I’m ashamed of that).
But still, why is it up in my browser tabs? And why have I selected my gender, sexual preference, and relationship status on the drop down menus?
I do not want a relationship.
Am I just telling myself that because I know I don’t have the time or energy to deal with the cyclone of bullshit that befalls me every time I actively pursue/or am pursued by a gentleman type? (Read: Last casual dating guy turned into a super douche capable of taking over Japan)
Is the tab up because it is a way to procrastinate from studying? Am I just bored? Am I vainly curious how many members I can potentially match with? Am I just getting all “wah wah winter is approaching and I don’t have a boyfriend”? Would I make an OkCupid if I knew it meant no one I already knew would see my profile?
Am I really the type of person to use a dating site? I mean, I usually complain if I find out that more than 1 guy is vaguely interested me. I’m not saying that this happens all the time and “woe is me, boys want my bod,” I just don’t like drama and I don’t enjoy working at things that I see no results in.
I think I’ll let Holly have the experiment for now, we’ll see if I’m remotely interested in the boytown post finals.
This is when I say something witty, clever, and slightly reassuring to the rest of the singles out there,
Alright, so I’ve had a lot of friends try this whole OkCupid thing, and I’ve had my doubts, but then again so have they.
I first heard about OkCupid last year when I went to visit my R.A. last year who was at the time, and continues to be a good friend of mine. She had found some success on the site and in a drunken state enticed another friend of ours to join. From there a cycle began and I came to find out that after a series of drunken nights (in which I was not present to put in my two cents) 5 of my friends were now on this site. They all claim to have been drunk and doing it solely for ‘shits and giggles’. Afterall, it is free and college kids love free things almost as much as sites that allow us to procrastinate on finals. And this gem, is like a two in one deal.
Naturally, I inquired as to what the deal was with this mysterious site after each and everyone of them admitted to having an account. It was best described as Match.com meets MySpace. I found this to be a giant warning sign and decided to do my research after they all attempted to convince me that it wasn’t creepy at all. The site was created by the same group of gentleman and Harvard grads that brought us SparkNotes (amen!) and it was ranked in TIME’s Top Ten Dating Sites of 2007. Can someone please tell me why we need 10 dating sites, let alone any more than that?
Slowly but surely I got the dirt from my friends, but I was sworn to secrecy and had to pretend that I had no idea about their membership on a *gasp* dating site. After hearing all the responses of justification I gathered that they were all either drunk, on it for entertainment, had been making drinks when so-and-so did it as a joke, or were on it for the quizzes- or some combination of them all. But, I wasn’t buying it because regardless of why they were all on it, they were on it, and had continued to log on, and even message potential suitors.
In the meantime, miss Viola and I had created this blog and I was thinking of creative ways for our little baby blog to stand out. I’ve thought about what it means to be a single woman in Chicago, but also what it generally it means to be a single woman in 2010. As you all know, it ain’t easy and to some degree we all think we should praise those who try and make it any smoother on us. It was on this note that I decided what better way to really write about the whole “single in the city” experience than to go on an internet dating site- especially one that many seemed to be on. I mean, if I personally knew over 5 women, than think about the hundreds in the Chicagoland area that were in the same situation.
And before I knew it one of my friends had just ended a relationship with someone she met on the site, two were currently happily dating someone they had met on it, and another gushed it was her new guilty pleasure and that I “just had to see the cute guy she’d been talking to”.
It is with this I declare that the next few (or more) posts will be devoted to my new social experiment and leap into the internet dating world. The OKCupid Chronicles, as they will be called, will be my insight and encounters as a single female in the city navigating the internet, messaging and ‘winking’ men who are a potential match given my interests, search criteria, and questionnaire responses. This oughta be quite the adventure, and I look forward to sharing this rollercoaster ride.
For the love of science,
(November 11, 2010)